Publication Date

Fall 9-28-2016

Document Type

Refereed academic paper for presentation


The study evaluates a theoretical model that postulates the cognitive-affective relationships that tourists develop with a heritage site have an impact on intended behavior. Using the case of the UNESCO World Heritage Site (WHS) of Petra, the relationships between tourist motivation, positive and negative emotions, place attachment, overall satisfaction and intention to recommend the site are assessed. A survey of international tourists at the visitor centre in Petra resulted in 297 usable questionnaires. The two-step procedure for structural equation modeling was used to analyze the data. All of the hypothesized paths are statistically significant, except the one from positive emotion to satisfaction and the one from place attachment to intention to recommend. The results support the theoretical model emphasizing the paths from cognition (motivation) to affect (positive and negative emotions) and intended behavior via place attachment and satisfaction. The findings have several theoretical and managerial implications. For example, managers and employees at Petra should improve on-site experiences to generate both positive emotions and place attachment that will encourage tourists to recommend Petra for future visits.